George IV Bridge – celebrating 50 years

Bartholomew Collection and Archive: acquired in 1995

The John Bartholomew Collection and the Bartholomew Archive have been at the National Library of Scotland since 1995.

In 1826, the first John Bartholomew (1805-1861) set up in business as a map engraver in Edinburgh. By the late 19th century the firm was internationally renowned.

Many of the family have had a close relationship with the National Library. Another John Bartholomew (1890-1862) was a Trustee of the forerunner of the National Library. In his memory the present generation gifted the major part of the Bartholomew family's private collection. This consists of 36 atlases in 53 volumes, spanning the 16th to the 19th centuries.

A highlight of the John Bartholomew Collection is Joan Blaeu's 1649 atlas of exquisitely coloured town plans and views of the Low Countries. It contains an illustration of Veere (pictured) which is now in the Netherlands. Veere was the Scottish staple port from 1541 where Scots merchants trading with Europe held special privileges.

Also in 1995, we acquired most of the remarkable archive of the Bartholomew firm when it moved to Bishopbriggs in Glasgow. By this time the mapmaking firm was part of HarperCollins Cartographic.

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